Williams syndrome

What is Williams syndrome?
Williams syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by a genetic mutation. It can lead to some delays in gross motor skills and low muscle tone, although our Williams superheroes do not let that get in the way of having fun! Children with Williams syndrome tend to be happy and sociable – one of our Bumble Bee clients LOVES being tickled!

Children with Williams syndrome tend to have hypotonia, or a reduced state of muscle contraction. This can lead to infants reaching their physical milestones later than their peers, and some have reduced body awareness and motor planning. This can mean it takes a little longer to work out what positions are most efficient, and some children can have weaker core muscles in upright postures.

Our superheroes
Some of our Williams syndrome clients have physio programmes to develop their gross motor skills from a young age, and other older children are working on refining their balance and PE skills. We frequently train school staff and PE teachers, as well as parents and carers, in fun activities and ideas for between physio sessions to complement children’s newfound skills and strength.

How can physiotherapy help?
Gross motor skills

Whether your superhero is not yet sitting on their own, or they are playing football with their friends and frequently falling, their gross motor skills programme is tailored to their needs. Young infants tend to work on transitioning and body awareness, to increase independence and socialisation from a young age. For school-aged children it is working on more complex transitions for more efficient movements and less fatigue. Lots of children with Williams syndrome take part in tailored Pilates exercises to improve their core strength, which has a direct effect on their concentration and learning.

Strengthening
Due to hypotonia, children with Williams syndrome benefit from strengthening their core and global muscle groups. This can help with balance, walking pattern, transitions and independence. We always make sure strengthening work is fun though, and even if your superhero is non-verbal, we are the best at using creative and imaginative ways of sneaking workouts into play!

Function and participation
All of our clients are provided with their very own Bumble Bee short-term SMART goals, which are ALWAYS tailored to your child’s interests, hobbies and family needs! Whatever motivates your child, we will help them participate. All of our goals include small and achievable steps to reaching functional and inclusive activities – the sky’s the limit!

Contact us here to find out how we can help.